New web standards, web services, and web service extensions make it possible to create a new cycle of evolution in integration technologies. Further, the enterprise service bus (ESB) makes it possible to facilitate cross-application business processes beyond the enterprise walls to business partners, customers, and suppliers.
Microsoft offers many tools and technologies to help solve the interoperability issues for its partners and customers. Many of these tools and technologies follow open industry standards, such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web services. Some of the technologies offer data-based integration and others offer document-based integration or a hybrid of both.